Artificial intelligence is fast becoming integrated in the delivery of healthcare, and increasing use of the technology is expected to result in quality improvement and cost reduction. A new study shows that a variety of clinical AI applications will translate into savings of up to $150 billion in healthcare costs over the next 10 years.
The technology represents "a significant opportunity for industry players to manage their bottom line in a new payment landscape," according to the new Accenture report, which examined 10 different AI applications, ranked by their potential for cost savings.
- Robot-assisted surgery – $40 billion
- Virtual nursing assistants – $20 billion
- Administrative workflow assistance – $18 billion
- Fraud detection – $17 billion
- Dosage error reduction – $16 billion
- Connected machines – $14 billion
- Clinical trial participant identifier – $13 billion
- Preliminary diagnosis – $5 billion
- Automated image diagnosis – $3 billion
- Cybersecurity – $2 billion
"As these, and other AI applications gain more experience in the field, their ability to learn and act will continually lead to improvements in precision, efficiency and outcomes," Accenture researchers point out.
However, as adoption of the technology becomes more widespread, there are some important considerations to keep in mind, according to the report.
Effect on healthcare staff. The nature of employment changes with automation. It's a tricky challenge to "make the best use of both humans and AI talent," but it can be done. For example, AI voice-enabled symptom checkers triage patients to lower-cost retail or urgent care settings and direct patients to the emergency department only when emergency care is necessary.
Sound organisational strategy. To make the most of AI, hospitals should make expertise in emerging technology a central part of their structure and governance: "For instance, assigning a lead who is tasked with keeping apprised of AI adoption within the organisation," the report says.
Patient engagement. AI "can magnify care reach by integrating health data across platforms," said researchers. "However, as new technology is introduced, various data sources must be connected to enable a seamless experience for patients."
Data security. As AI delivers benefits of greater efficiency, transparency and interoperability, the report urges organisations to maintain a clear focus on informational security.
Source: Healthcare IT NewsImage Credit: Pixabay